Uploaded: Wed, Oct 30, 2013, 10:59 pm
Teachers get 4 percent raise in tentative pact
Raise and bonus for this year come atop 3 percent raise plus bonus last year
Palo Alto teachers this year will get a 4 percent raise along with a onetime bonus of 2 percent under a tentative collective-bargaining agreement between the Palo Alto Unified School District and the Palo Alto Educators Association.
The raise comes atop a 3 percent salary boost and 1.5 percent bonus given last year -- the first raise since 2007-08.
"The district appreciates the continued excellence and professionalism demonstrated by our staff despite recent difficult years," Superintendent Kevin Skelly said in a Wednesday statement announcing the proposed agreement, which is subject to union ratification and approval by the Board of Education.
"We are fortunate to continue working cooperatively and productively with our employee groups on our common goals."
Teachers agreed to absorb 75 percent of this year's increase in health care costs, which amounted to more than $1 million for calendar year 2014, the district said.
The raise announced Wednesday would boost the pay of a beginning teacher from the current $53,000 to about $55,000. Additional costs to the school district include some $13,000 in health benefits and 12.5 percent contributions to the California State Teachers Retirement System.
Palo Alto's average teacher salary of $85,721 (before last year's raise) ranked fifth among averages in nine nearby school districts, according to a comparison published in February by EdData, which publishes fiscal, demographic and performance data about California's K-12 public schools.
Salaries and benefits consume about 84 percent of the district's operating budget. Wednesday's announcement contained no information on raises for non-teaching staff or management, but raises for those groups typically has tracked those of teachers.
Property tax revenues, which account for 72 percent of the Palo Alto district's operating budget, are projected to grow more than 6 percent in the current year. But since the district is not compensated on a per pupil basis, officials continually worry that enrollment growth could exceed property tax growth, pushing down per-pupil revenue. This fall, however, K-12 enrollment grew by less than 1 percent, to 12,483.
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Posted by Teacher
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 2, 2013 at 8:36 am
"Walk a mile in my shoes comes to mind." If you only knew.
Quick suggestion to all of the commentators that have never taught a classroom full of students, try it. Pre K through 12. Volunteer to teach a lesson, just once. Solo flight. Plan a lesson, just one, not for the day, or week, or month, or year, just one, 55 minute lesson- your choice, as long as it aligns with the Common Core standards, GO FOR IT! Enjoy! Make sure your 1 lesson includes a way for non English speaking students to access the content. Have a plan for students who struggle with behavior norms. This could be tricky, remember it's not your kid(s). Don't forget, to differentiate for learning styles. Always assure that all types of learners can participate. (Or you'll get a phone call, followed up by a long meeting). If the students aren't able to engage with your lesson, well let's just say you might have some management issues. :( Make sure you have left yourself enough time to prep your lesson. I know it's just one lesson, but winging it won't work. Believe me. Again, it's just one lesson, so you don't need to worry about pre-teaching, assessment, or planning with your grade level, so it shouldn't take more than an hour or two to get prepped for a 55 minute block of time. Don't worry about the little stuff like eating lunch, checking your smart phone, or using the bathroom, you'll get to do that during the summer with all that free time. Or "Christmas Break" as long as you're not too sick by then. (germs) Even though you are just going to teach one lesson, you should probably write up a newsletter to inform the parents of your instruction and outcomes. They WILL want to know, and it is up to you to communicate with them, all of them. Hopefully, you are multi-lingual as your communications will need to be in several languages.
I know what you are thinking, "I can snack, and chat on my phone at recess or lunch"-WRONG, you have to supervise the kids; yard duty! Everybody's got to do it. I hope you are OK with blood, snot, and tears, there will be a lot. Either yours or theirs, it's hard to tell on any given day.
Then after your lesson, your 1 lesson, hurry home and jump online and share your experience. Maybe you will be simultaneously enrolling to get your credential, or maybe, just maybe you'll be thinking, "hell no, there's not enough money in the world to make me willingly sign on for THAT job!"
Just a quick suggestion. One lesson.